Dissertation – Aka the D word.

The majority of my workload at the moment is my dissertation write up – the 10,000 word lab report I have to hand in later this month along with my log book (a physical presentation of all the effort I’ve put into my dissertation) and believe me it will be one huge relief when I finally get it handed in. But until I do I still have another 5000 or so words to write and I thought I’d give you some tips when it comes to writing and doing ¬†your dissertation in third year.

1. Pick a topic that interests you – This goes without saying, I originally wanted to do something on obesity/eating behaviours but got a sports psychology dissertation topic instead, it has however challenged me and that can be a good thing from time to time.

2. Do plenty of research – This is another obvious one (at least it should be). Once you find out what your topic is or your topic of choice has been approved, research it in depth. That way you can get a feel for what has already been done on it and use the articles and books you find as references in your write up.

3. Make sure you’re organised – My organisation and time management skills had never been so tested until I started doing my dissertation. It’s a long process so make sure you plan your time and keep back ups of related electronic files in different places (laptop, external hard-drive, usb stick, university pc hard-drives).

4. Meet with your tutor – One thing that’s been a big part of the dissertation process for me is meeting with my supervisor on a regular basis as my course requires us to have 3 formal meetings per term and we’re are also allowed ad-hoc (additional informal ones) meetings along the way. Your tutor will offer advice on what needs doing and will answer questions you may have

5. Methods for recruiting participants– This applies for dissertations where you are conducting a study of some kind. Whilst you should never force people into taking part (which is unethical) do use things like posters, social media and emails to tell people about your study and invite them to take part. I even used word of mouth and eventually I got the data and participants I needed.

Anyway I hope this entry has been informative and I wish you ever success when you come to do your dissertations.

Busy Busy Busy

Like a lot of third years at this time of year I am busy..very busy. Aside from preparations for Christmas (which will be upon us before we know it) I have the following to complete and submit before going home for two weeks

Applying Psychology to Lifestyle Behaviors Presentation

This is an poster presentation based on a health behavior that someone we know, wants to or needs to change in order to improve their overall health. I chose to interview my dad and ask him questions in relation to his weight as this is a topic that is relevant to me and I’m very interested in. For the assignment so far I have interviewed him, wrote up the interview findings and analysed them. I now need to design an intervention and critically discuss it and the theoretical model it’s based off as well as make sure the poster looks good and rehearse it before the 15th December.

Personality and Individual Differences Presentation/2000 word reflection 

Another presentation I have to do soon is for my personality and individual differences module. This is a group based presentation we have five made up candidates who are applying to the role of a sales manager. We each have to talk about who we’ve picked and why in relation to different theories of personality. In addition this there’s also a 2000 word reflection of the process and the presentation to be written and handed in by the same deadline of the 16th December.

Aside from the above I also have to gather data for my dissertation because I have now had the ethical clearance to do so but collecting data is proving a big challenge because I have to use sports coaches and their athletes and only one sports coach has said they’re interested so far. As well as these things I also need to start looking for literature (research papers) for the second substance misuse essay that is due at the beginning of January. I definitely have a lot to do!